Assam develops a strategy to facilitate the movement of stranded people: Sarbananda Sonowal

Guwahati, May 2:  Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday said that the state government has developed a strategy to facilitate the movement of people of the state stranded at different places across the country.

There are as many 20 lakh people from the state stranded at different places of the country.

The Assam Chief Minister said that, the state government has already constituted a Task Force with all senior officers, and ADGP (Law & Order) GP Singh is the in-charge of this Task Force.

“The Task Force will make a road map for it, a better plan of action has been choked out. It is the question of their desire who want to come back to Assam. There are many categories of people from the state stranded outside, someone pilgrims, tourists, students, migrant laborers, patients. Now let them express their willingness. If someone is interested to come back to Assam then we welcome them. We will address their matter,” Sonowal said.

On Saturday, the Assam government has decided to provide sustenance to migrant workers of the state stuck across the country for the next three months.

The state government will transfer Rs 2000 to their accounts on the 15th of every month.

The Assam Chief Minister on Saturday held an interactive session with the editors and senior journalists of media houses of the state at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati and sought their views and suggestion regarding the overall situation of the state during the COVID-19 lockdown period and the way forward in case of relaxations and exemptions during the nationwide extension of lockdown period by two more weeks. Calling on the media outlets to exercise utmost retrain while reporting news about administrative machinery engaged in the COVID-19 fight at the frontline without verification, the Assam Chief Minister said that unauthenticated and unverified news could de-motivate and discourage all those who were dedicatedly providing their services to contain the outbreak of the global pandemic in the state.

Terming the media as the conscience keepers and opinion molders of the society, Sonowal said that that media’s conscientious decisions would determine in which direction the society would move.

He also appreciated the role played by media during the lockdown period by disseminating the right information to the people, generating awareness, and also by acting as a bridge between the people and the government.

Saying that he traveled to the districts to encourage and motivate the district administration officials led by DCs and SPs, Sonowal stated that constant reviewing of preparedness measures helped in ironing out administrative issues faced by different districts and to take a unified approach.

“Due to the high work ethic and planned activities Assam was performing considerably well in containing COVID-19 and the roles played by health, F&CS, police, PHED, power departments in this time of crisis must be appreciated,” Sonowal said.

The Chief Minister also referred to the slew of austerity measures taken by the State Government to cut down expenditures in the time of economic slowdown and said that guarded approach has been taken to relax certain economic activities to bring the state’s economy back on track post-COVID-19.

Pointing out mask-making activities by 15 lakh members of SHGs, mostly women, as a positive aspect during a time of gloom in the state, Sonowal said that tea sector workers and farmers have resumed work following exemptions given to them.

He also said that repairing works of embankments, which were stopped due to the lockdown, have also started in the state.

Assam Health Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Food and Civil Supplies Department Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury, PHED Minister Rihan Daimary, Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Water Resource Minister Keshab Mahanta, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami, Legal Adviser to the Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, DG of Assam Police Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta,  Principal Secretary of Finance Department Samir Kumar Sinha were also present in the meeting among others.